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Knicks will not strain George Floyd, Dolan tells employees

Leadership by every N.B.A. The team – in some form – have been charged with the death of George Floyd, the 46-year-old black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25. Any team except the Knicks.

And the franchise owner, James L. Dolan, made it clear on Monday that no such statement would come.

“At Madison Square Garden, we stand by our values ​​of a respectful and peaceful workplace. We always will, ”Dolan wrote in one Email to employees received from ESPN. “As a sports and entertainment company, we are no more qualified than anyone else to express our opinion on social issues.”


Dolan’s reaction was in stark contrast to that of other teams in the league and of multiple players who joined the protests that haunt the nation every night. The N.B.A. is the rare sports league that has for years encouraged players to be socially aware of certain issues: police brutality is one of them. One of Knicks’ own players, Point Guard Dennis Smith Jr., took part in protests in Fayetteville, NC. over the weekend.

Dolan’s email came a day after Commissioner Adam Silver wrote a letter to the league staff on the subject. “I am encouraged,” he wrote, “of the many members of the N.B.A. and W.N.B.A.family – players, coaches, legends, team owners, and leaders at all levels – for justice, for peaceful protest, and for significant change.”

To this end, several of the team’s social media accounts were full of messages from players related to Floyd or otherwise related to the protests. Some teams in the N.B.A. were direct. The Washington Wizards made a statement From his players on Sunday, who said in capital letters: “We will no longer tolerate the murder of people with color in this country” and added: “We will no longer accept the abuse of power by law enforcement” and “We “DO NOT CLOSE AND DRIBLE ANY MORE. “A franchise, the Minnesota Timberwolves, shared a video shows several players going to demonstrations. Knicks representatives did not respond to a request for comment.

The Knicks rival, the Nets, released a statement on the same day saying, “We mourn the loss of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and countless others who have lost their lives due to racial prejudice.” Taylor, an emergency technician who was black, was shot dead in her own home by the Louisville, Kentucky police after an arrest warrant was executed in March. Arbery was a 25-year-old black man who was followed by armed white residents while jogging and killed in February.

Some teams spoke through some of their most visible characters or the owners themselves. The Toronto Raptors shared a social media comment that Team President Masai Ujiri had written for The Globe and Mail.

“A death like this happens,” Ujiri wrote, “and we rage about it and the headlines go back and the world keeps moving and then a few weeks later something else happens and we are outraged again and then we go continue.” again. We have to stop this cycle. “Ujiri had his own argument with a policeman last year after the Raptors won the championship at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California.

Michael Jordan, the owner of the Charlotte Hornets, said in a statement “I stand by those who proclaim deep-rooted racism and violence against colored people in our country. We have enough. “

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